Hauru no Uguko Shiro

Title:Hauru no Uguko Shiro
Das wandelnde Schloss
Howl no Ugoku Shiro
Howl's Moving Castle
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio Ghibli
HARADA Daijiro
ISAKI Mitsunori
KAMIKI Ryunosuke
KATO Haruko
MIWA Akihiro
R1 License - GKIDS
Early 20th century technology meets magic in a Western (probably French) country where Sophie, a young woman, is living and running a hatter shop. One of these magic users, the "Witch of the Wasteland", puts a hex on Sophie, making her instantly age by 70 years and unable to tell anyone about the reason. On her search for help Sophie ends up living in the moving castle of the infamous wizard Howl, together with his apprentice boy Marker, fire demon Calucipher, and the living scarecrow Turnip Head. And with time she is getting more and more dragged into a conflict of powerful wizards and a dreadful war. Will Sophie be able to break her curse, and what about the other inhabitants of this castle?
[Movie, 2004, 118 min]
1:57min Movie Trailer - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 10 10 9 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:937#1552]
Much like Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, I felt Howl's Moving Castle lacked the old charm that Hayao Miyazaki gave his earlier titles. There is a mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements in this movie of Sophie trying to uncover a cure for the aging curse cast upon her by the Witch of the Waste. The storyline starts out smoothly enough as Sophie tracks down, works for, and gets to know the vain and handsome sorceror known as Howl. You get a good sense of who these two characters are and what they desire for themselves. The first two-thirds of the movie have no issues whatsoever in the direction of plot and characters. But once the war between sorcerors start up in the final third of the movie, the plot starts feeling disjointed as it is difficult to keep track of what is going on and resolutions with the characters to this movie felt quite Disney-esque with their cliched happy endings.

In terms of artwork and animation, it is the usual high-quality that Studio Ghibli pumps out full of vivid scenery, bright colors, and great use of detail and movement. The big highlight of artwork for me was the CG-animated rendering of Howl's castle. Consisting of enough junk to keep it formed together and moving, the castle had enough animation and details that impressed me quite a bit.

But, there's nothing really fresh with this movie to keep me enjoying it like Miyazaki's earlier titles like Kiki's Delivery Service or Porco Rosso. However, it's still worth checking out if you're a big Miyazaki or Ghibli fan.

Last updated Saturday, November 22 2008. Created Saturday, November 22 2008.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:937#1393]
After waiting patiently for it to come to Hastings. I finally rented it and all I can say another film filled with magic and never a dull moment. I recomend buying it and you won't be disappointed. I have watched it twice since I rented it and plan on watching it more times. The music is always delightful when you watch it and I find myself humming it as I walk around.Again I say a wonderful movie to buy to add to your collection. I plan on buying it myself. Enter the wonderful world of wizards and witches and magic and let your imagination fly.

Last updated Sunday, March 12 2006. Created Sunday, March 12 2006.
Buy Forbin [series:937#1573]
Drama : Med
Comedy : Low
Action : Med
SciFi : High
Ecchi : None

I seem to enjoy the Miyazaki romances more than his anti war stuff, While this isn't as good as Whisper of the Heart it's nice, and the ongoing mystery about Howl keep me interested.

Problems with it? They don't really explain the curse very well, or how the witch really played. She's starts out as the main opponent but then gets regulated to sidekick status after about 45 minutes.

Last updated Thursday, December 22 2005. Created Thursday, December 22 2005.
Rent 9 10 9 8 8 manganime [series:937#1633]
Like Spirited Away the animation is top-notch and should be watched just to appreciate that in itself.

I thought that this movie was going preety well but the last half hour or so lost me as all kind of stuff started happening and I didn't know what was really goin on with Sophie switchin back and forth from her youthful self and why they helped that witch etc. So I kinda got bored here and just wanted the movie to end.

I think I prefer the other Ghilbi films but will give this another go and try to hang on this time.

Last updated Wednesday, December 14 2005. Created Wednesday, December 14 2005.
Buy 9 9 10 9 7 Devil Doll [series:937#752]
[Score: 87%, one of my Top 10 Anime movies]
Being a slightly darker and more mature successor of Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (probably not for "All Ages" this time), this MIYAZAKI Hayao movie once again has wonderful unique characters, although Sophie looks quite a bit like an adult version of San from Mononoke Hime. The art and animation are the usual excellent quality (fans of Majo no Takkyuubin know what to expect from a Ghibli movie about aerial warfare), the music is very orchestral (and rather French at times), and the characters are lovable and surprising (especially Hean and Turnip Head, although Calucipher is my favourite).
But this movie suffers from a similar problem as Mononoke Hime: 80% of the movie is wonderful, thrilling and enchanting - and then things get out of control, producing an almost random development of the story. To me, the last 20 minutes of this great movie were rather confusing (the outcome was rather predictable but the way it happened was strange), which made me downgrade Series Story. But still a great experience and a solid "Buy".

Last updated Saturday, June 14 2008. Created Wednesday, January 19 2005.

Other Sites
Studio Ghibli Web Site http://www.howl-movie.com/

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